The Teamster Convention, By The Numbers

What really happened at the Teamster Convention? Here are the facts, accurately reported. The opinions stated are ours. You can use this information to help form your opinion.

Number of times there was scripted praise of Hoffa from the podium.

We stopped counting at 30.

Also, there were greetings or speeches from 16 celebrities and athletes and 12 speeches by politicians or political leaders. Additionally, there were similar numbers of testimonials. And a number of speeches by labor leaders. Many programs were good, a few were excellent. But the vast quantity was used to fill up the week. There was even a long program on how to spot terrorists! (source: Minutes of Convention)

Amount of dues money spent for the IBT Convention on promotional videos, flying in politicians, celebrities, and other props and performances.

Estimated well into the millions.

Percentage of delegates who voted to nominate Hoffa.

82%. This is down from 94% in 2006. Opposition to Hoffa tripled.

Chance that the vote reflects the coming membership vote.

Very Low. In 2006, Sandy Pope got 6% of the delegate vote, and then got 36% of the membership vote: a six-times higher percentage. In 2011, Sandy got 9% of the delegate vote.

Why did the Hoffa campaign nominate a ghost-candidate to run against Ken Hall for General Secretary Treasurer?

Interesting question. The answer is available here.

Why did many (though far from all) Hoffa delegates boo and yell at every single nominee not on the Hoffa slate?

“The boos you hear now are boos of fear, but no one needs to be afraid of this. This is an open election.” -- Tim Sylvester, Local 804, nominating Sandy Pope for General President.

Number of Hoffa delegates who will report-back in writing to their members that they booed every opposition speaker and walked out of the hall when Sandy Pope and Fred Gegare gave acceptance speeches.

Estimated to be zero. They are embarrassed to have members know how they acted.

What did Hoffa’s spokespersons say about the membership election?

They repeatedly said an election is a “waste of money.” They said the exact same thing in 2001 and 2006. If they had their way, no one would ever run against Hoffa from 1998 till at least 2016.

Amount of money Hoffa is pressuring officials to donate to him to try to win the election?

In 2006, it was over $3 million and will likely be the same this time. As of May 31, it was well over $1 million. (Source: CCER reports filed by Hoffa campaign with the Election Supervisor)

Amount paid to his son, David Hoffa, to file protests for his campaign.

In 2006 David Hoffa was paid $184,000 by the Hoffa campaign. (Source: Hoffa Campaign CCER expenditure report)

Amount of dues money spent on Hoffa’s IBT Convention make-up and his back-stage make-up artist.

Not enough. It was applied way too thick. (See for example this Hoffa campaign picture, and compare to the more life-like Ken Hall)

Amount of money the Hoffa campaign claims it will cost to print, mail and count the ballots.

$14 million (source: Hoffa campaign leaflets, speeches)

The actual cost of the balloting.

$3.8 million. (Source: Election Supervisor’s Report to the Court #3)

The budget for the Election Supervisor and all of his staff, expenses, preparation of rules, handling of protests, supervision of delegate elections and of the recent IBT convention, for 2010 and 2011 is $11.3 million. Most of that is already spent.

Amount of dues money paid by Teamster members since the last IBT election in 2006.

Approximately $3.8 billion. (Source: LM-2 financial reports.)

Cost of the coming balloting, as percentage of total dues.

About 1/10 of 1%.

Cost of Hoffa’s consultants, handlers and PR people over the past five years.

Unknown, but millions more than the cost of democracy.

On June 30 Ken Hall gave the IBT Convention a long presentation on UPS, supplemented by testimonials, etc. How many times did he address the issues of loss of full-time jobs, Article 22.3, excessive overtime, or grievance panel problems?

Zero. (Source: Convention minutes)

Issues

Teamster Voice